STEPS Receives Year Three Funding From The Drug Free Communities Grant

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

 August 31, 2011

 White House Drug Policy Director Awards $88.2 Million to Local Communities to Prevent Youth Substance Use

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

 August 31, 2011

 White House Drug Policy Director Awards $88.2 Million to Local Communities to Prevent Youth Substance Use

(Washington, D.C.) – Gil Kerlikowske, Director of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), today announced $12.3 million in new Drug Free Communities Support Program (DFC) grants to 87 communities and 20 new DFC Mentoring grants across the country. The awards announced today are in addition to the nearly $76 million in Continuation grants simultaneously released to 607 currently funded DFC coalitions and twelve DFC Mentoring Continuation coalitions. Southington’s Town-wide Effort to Promote Success (STEPS) from Southington, CT was one of the grant recipients of a Continuation grant, and will receive $125,000 for the third year in DFC grant funds to involve and engage their local community to prevent and reduce substance use among youth.  “Efforts to keep our youth drug free are critical to healthy and safe communities here in Southington,” said Kelly Berkmoes, Youth Prevention Coordinator. “The Drug Free Communities program continues to recognize the great potential of STEPS to help save lives of youth. This continuation of funding will allow STEPS to continue to mobilize and organize their community to prevent and reduce youth substance use.” 

ONDCP Director Gil Kerlikowske said, “Data show that community efforts to reduce youth substance use  through the DFC program are effective.  I commend coalitions like STEPS, who work tirelessly to prevent and reduce youth drug use across the Nation.”  “Action at the community level and kitchen tables drives rates of substance abuse down,” said SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde, J.D. “SAMHSA is pleased to join the Office of National Drug Control Policy in supporting coalitions like STEPS that are bringing citizens together to create healthy and drug-free environments for children.

 The Drug Free Communities program is directed by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, in partnership with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The DFC program provides grants of up to $625,000 over five years to community coalitions that facilitate citizen participation in local drug prevention efforts. Coalitions are comprised of community leaders, parents, youth, teachers, religious and fraternal organizations, health care and business professionals, law enforcement, the media, and others working together at the local level.

 To qualify for a Drug Free Communities Grant, all awardees must have at least a six-month history of working together (prior to applying for year one) on substance abuse reduction initiatives, have representation from 12 specific sectors of the community, develop a long-term plan to reduce substance abuse, and participate in the national evaluation of the DFC program.  STEPS will continue specifically work to address underage drinking, tobacco, and marijuana use in the Southington community.

 The DFC program was created by the Drug Free Communities Act of 1997, and was reauthorized by Congress in 2001 and 2006. Since 1998, ONDCP has awarded nearly 2,000 Drug Free Communities grants to local communities in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, Palau, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia. More information about the Drug-Free Communities Program is available at: www.whitehousedrugpolicy.gov/dfc